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Berlin II Conference calls for immediate withdrawal of foreign mercenaries from Libya
Conference will call on all actors to stop financing military capabilities or recruiting mercenaries
Published in Daily News Egypt on 22 - 06 - 2021

Diplomatic sources in Berlin have revealed that the Berlin II Conference on Libya will call for the immediate withdrawal of foreign mercenaries from Libya, the Italian news agency Nova has reported.
The conference, which is set to take place on Wednesday, will also call, in its final statement, for strong support to be provided to the Libyan authorities to hold elections on time on 24 December.
It will affirm Libya's support in its efforts to protect its southern borders and impose control over the crossing of armed groups and weapons across the border.
The final statement will also state the "importance of establishing unified Libyan security and defence forces under a unified civilian authority."
This is in addition to "accelerating the dismantling and disarmament of armed groups and militias, and the integration of some qualified individuals into state institutions."
The statement is likely to stress the need to combat terrorism in Libya in accordance with the UN Charter and international law. It will call on all parties to halt any support for groups and individuals designated as terrorists by the United Nations (UN).
The Berlin conference will call on all actors to stop "financing military capabilities or recruiting mercenaries." It stresses the obligation "to strengthen mechanisms for monitoring the arms embargo by the UN, the national authorities, and relevant international parties."
It will emphasise the recognition of the progress made since the first conference on 19 January 2020, including: the cessation of hostilities; the continuation of the ceasefire; the lifting of the oil blockade; the formation of an interim government and its receiving a vote of confidence by the House of Representatives.
On the political front, the draft final statement will call on the Interim Presidency Council and the Interim Government of National Unity to take further steps towards unifying the country.
It also urged "all actors to restore and respect the unity of the executive, legislative, judicial, and other institutions of the country."
In particular, it will call on the Libyan authorities, at the forefront of which is the House of Representatives, to make the necessary preparations for holding free, fair, and inclusive national presidential and parliamentary elections. This is especially in defining the constitutional basis for elections and enacting legislation.
The final statement will also call for measures that would facilitate the elections within the framework of the requirements of the political roadmap.
The conference will encourage the UN's member states, as well as international and regional organisations to "send election observers in coordination with the Libyan authorities and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya."
The statement will also stress the need to take the necessary measures by the UN Security Council, the African Union (AU), the Arab League, and the European Union (EU), against obstructing the political process by imposing sanctions.
Nova reported that the conference participants will express their readiness to support efforts to reunify the Central Bank of Libya. They will also demand a transparent, responsible and equitable distribution of the country's wealth and revenues among the various Libyan geographical regions through decentralisation and support for municipalities.
With regard to respect for international law and human rights, the draft final document will call for the Interim Government of National Unity. It will also call for all parties in Libya to fully respect international humanitarian law and human rights, and to protect civilians, civil institutions, and displaced persons, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and prisoners.
It will also call for "a review of the detainees' files and the immediate release of all those detained illegally or arbitrarily."
On the migrants' file, the final statement will call on the Libyan authorities to close the detention centres for migrants and asylum seekers. This includes ensuring that immigration and asylum legislation is consistent with international law and internationally recognised standards and principles.
The Berlin II conference also pledges to "support Libya in developing a comprehensive approach to managing migration and countering refugee movements to and from Libya based on the principles of international law."
The statement will call for the need to hold accountable all those who violated the provisions of international law. This is also whilst providing support to Libyan institutions in documenting violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, and conducting a "comprehensive and rights-based transitional justice and national reconciliation process."
It is worth noting that the Berlin 2 conference on Libya kicks off, on Wednesday, at the invitation of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
It brings together senior representatives from the governments of Algeria, China, Russia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the last of which chairs the AU Committee on Libya.
The conference will also see the participation of a number of countries, including: Egypt, France; Germany; Italy; Libya; Morocco; the Netherlands; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey; the UAE; the UK; and the US. This is in addition to representatives from the UN, the AU, the EU, and the Arab League.

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